“…my fear of not having lived life is more powerful than my fear of living it.”
In The Motion of the Ocean, Janna Cawrse Esarey shares with readers the “tale” of an average newlywed couple who go on a two-year honeymoon cruise across the Pacific Ocean aboard their 1973 Hallberg-Rassy Rasmus 35-foot sailboat, Dragonfly.
But don’t be fooled. Janna and Graeme’s story is not just a cruising account. It’s also a love story, a comedy, and sometimes it will even bring tears to your eyes.
Divided into parts, readers first get an insight into Janna and Graeme’s early relationship, leading up to their decision to finally tie the knot, quit their jobs, and take a cruising honeymoon — and all the preparations required for this trek.
The author then takes us along on her two-year journey. The couple sails from Seattle south to Mexico, across the Pacific and, finally, to Hong Kong (with many stops at island destinations in between). Some sections are written in a log format, others in chapters, and the blend is an easy-to-understand account of this voyage, both in destinations and emotional growth.
The story is about two very different individuals who end up “stuck” on a sailboat in the middle of the ocean — alone — together. Janna and Graeme have completely different viewpoints when it comes to sailing (one more technical; the other more hands-on) and what’s important in their new lifestyle. As time goes on, they find out these are not the only things they disagree about.
Their once busy over-scheduled Seattle lives have changed drastically and the complete shock of it all soon has Janna feeling unloved, unneeded, worthless and confused. Over time, Janna comes to the tough realization that all she and Graeme have is each other and that has to be enough. Then she begins to find herself — and that is, in fact, what The Motion of the Ocean is truly about — a woman’s passage to finding and understanding herself.
Janna’s biggest fear is that Graeme will fall overboard during one of his middle-of-the-night watches — as he pees overboard — and be forever lost at sea as she sleeps. She has other fears as well, many of them seemingly small. But despite these very real fears she also realizes that: “…my dream of sailing into the sunset with him is, in the end, more powerful than my fear of it.”
The Motion of the Ocean is a book about relationships with a sailing backdrop. Janna writes from her heart, making her book valuable for any “sailing”couple. Additionally, it easily sails across the “boat book”genre line, making it a great read for non-sailors as well.
The Motion of the Ocean, 1 Small Boat, 2 Average Lovers and a Woman’s Search for the Meaning of Wife by Janna Cawrse Esrey (Touchstone, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2009; 313 pages)